Ruth First Fellowship 2014
CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
Ruth First was a journalist, activist and intellectual killed in exile by the apartheid government. To commemorate her contribution to critical, independent, socially-engaged writing, Wits Journalism has established a 3 to 6 month fellowship
The fellowship is intended to allow a journalist, writer or academic researcher
to pursue an in-depth project of original research. It should be groundbreaking
and in keeping with the tradition of Ruth First’s politically and socially relevant journalism
Fellows will receive a monthly stipend and research costs.
They must be resident in South Africa.
They will be expected to present their work at the annual Ruth First Memorial Lecture in August
and to submit it for publication in an appropriate outlet
Our theme for 2014 is
PROTEST: DEMOCRACY IN ACTION OR POPULAR INSURGENCY?
Political commentator Aubrey Matshiqi suggested recently that South Africa is facing a “rebellion of the poor”. But what are its causes? Popular protest and collective action has undoubtedly increased in South Africa in recent years even though participation in elections remains high in global terms. What accounts for the widespread strategy of taking to the streets, sometimes in violent forms? Does protest signify a lack of trust in electoral democracy? Or are South Africans developing a more robust form of participatory democracy? Are systems of representation failing poor and middle class people?
This year, we are particularly interested in research that attempts to answer these questions through the form of deep ethnographic or case studies.